Anson County was one of 21 recipients of the N.C. Catalyst Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to upgrade various transportation, housing, economic development and public neighborhood projects, Gov. Bev Perdue announced Thursday. Anson County will receive a total of $448,134.
The N.C. Catalyst grant funds are provided through a federal inter-agency partnership between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Department of Transportation (DOT). Catalyst funds are dedicated for projects serving persons of low and moderate incomes.
“This is a new grant category,” said Mary Beck, grants management, economic and community development director for Anson County. “It allows us to do a lot of activities to help the community.”
“These projects revitalize our communities and improve the lives of so many North Carolinians,” Gov. Perdue explained in a press release. “We’re proud of our local governments and their efforts to strengthen all aspects of their communities, and for the federal government’s assistance in doing that.”
The Catalyst Grant will allow for the demolition and clearing of 15 dilapidated buildings in Wadesboro and three in Morven, Beck said. The grant was in the amount of $100,000 for the demolition project, with $30,000 contributed by the town of Wadesboro and $5,000 by the town of Morven.
“This is budgeted money that all of these entities put aside, to go along with the CDBG grant,” Beck explained.
A total of $55,000 in CDBG Catalyst Grant funds will be issued to the Grace Senior Center, with a commitment from the Anson County Council of Aging of $6,500, Beck said. “We hope to be able to add handicapped bathrooms for both men and women, replace the roof and redesign the parking lot,” she said. “Right now, it’s been paved twice and part of it is rock so that can cause some problems.”
Some of the flooring inside the senior center also needs to be replaced.
Anson Crisis Ministry will receive $34,000 in CDBG money, with a $5,122 local commitment. “We hope to be able to fix a wall that is leaning,” Beck said.
Another $50,000 of the CDBG Catalyst Grant money will be set aside for emergency repairs within the county. “These are people that need repairs to their homes,” Beck explained. “We can spend $5,000 per house, for owner-occupied, income-eligible households.”
Habitat for Humanity will receive $54,000 in CDBG money with a $90,000 commitment from Habitat. “What we hope we can do is to replace the old housing grant,” Beck said. “We want to do larger houses; we’ve only been doing two-bedroom houses and would like to do three-bedroom houses but oftentimes, the families can’t afford the larger houses. What we hope we can do is use this funding to help the homeowner with the materials so we can keep that house affordable.”
The final activity for the CDBG Catalyst Grant is what Beck calls “temporary relocation.”
“We have two homes in the county that have no indoor plumbing,” she said. “We hope to demolish those homes and replace them with modular units. They are both owned by elderly, handicapped people, and they are owner-occupied.”
An additional $15,134 from the grant will be used for administrative costs, such as advertising the grant application in local newspapers and the administering of the grants, Beck added.
Now, the county waits to see if there are any stipulations in the grant awards, before the final grant approval will be issued.
The Division of Community Assistance, a division of North Carolina Department of Commerce, administers the CDBG N.C. Catalyst program.
“This $448,134 CBDG Catalyst Grant award will go a long ways in making Anson County a better place to live, grow and enjoy for all our residents,” said County Manager Lawrence Gatewood.